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Hundreds bid farewell to Sen. Inouye at State Capitol

By Nana Ohkawa
Published On: Dec 23 2012 08:46:05 AM HST

As Sen. Inouye's casket was brought in to lay in the State Capitol, it was one of two opportunities for the public to express their condolences.

HONOLULU -

At the state capitol on Saturday hundreds attended a public memorial to bid farewell to Senator Daniel Inouye.

"I feel like he's family because I grew up with him since fifth grade," said Doreen Kaibara.

Kaibara got to the ceremony early to get a front row spot. She went with her sister, but they are here not just to pay their own respects, but for generations before them.

"I feel it's very important especially for my parents too," said Kaibara.  

Teachers like Lillian Muramatsu said she'll never forget how the Senator treated her students when they visited our nation's capitol.

"He made them really feel like they were a part of America, and he really inspired all of them to go on to improve their education," said Muramatsu.  

A sense of similarity also brought some out to the ceremony.

"He's a veteran. He lost his arm and I almost lost mine too they were going to cut it up," said veteran Paul Quezon.

As the service wrapped up it became a hard reality for some that the man who inspired them for so many years is now gone.

"It was kind of hard to see him passing by because I saw him earlier this year," said tearful Kamuela Chun.

"Grateful that so many people in our islands care so deeply and that the ceremony was worthy of the man," said Joda Derrickson.

As many described the day, it was a bitter sweet aloha.

"Very hard to see him, but very very appreciative of all that he's done for Hawaii and the nation," said Kamuela.

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